Titanium Oxide? and how to melt it

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In summary, you found black material on the beach that you think is Titanium (III) Oxide. It is not easy to melt, and there are other materials that are more common on the beach. You doubt that it is Titanium (III) Oxide, but it might be worth doing some testing to be sure. You can buy small ampules of chlorine gas for element samples, but it is not safe to handle at home.
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TL;DR Summary
How to melt Titanium oxide and how to work the final metal?
I have about 40kg Titanium oxide. At least that is what I was told it is. There is a stretch of beach that is covered several cm with this black material. I would like to melt it and make... something with it.
Any ideas how I can melt it at home, as this seems the first step and much more challenging than first thought
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 
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  • #2
There are three "Titanium Oxides": Titanium Dioxide (white, melting point 1843C); Titanium(II) Oxide (Bronze Crystals, melting point 1750C); and Titanium (III) Oxide (violet black powder, ##Ti_2O_3##, melting point 2130C).

Of the three, Titanium Dioxide is the one most famous for melting. It has been widely advertised to "Melt in your mouth, not in your hands" - owing to M&M candies sporting Titanium Dioxide shells.

With that aside, it would seem that you are suspecting that your "black material" is Titanium (III) Oxide.
None of these "Titanium Oxides" could be readily melted in bulk as an at-home project - least of all ##Ti_2O_3##.

There is one form of "at home" energy capable of reaching these temperatures - but there are enough incidental hazards that I will not describe it. And it would not be practical to use it on Kg quantities.

To add to the bad news, I rather doubt that what was found on the beach is ##Ti_2O_3##. There are other "violet black powders" found on the beach that are far, far more common - most notably the remains of black sea shells.
 
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I am very sure it is Titanium, as this stretch of coastline is known for historic Titanium mining and every few years big mining conglomerates try to get a license again. I find it surprisingly heavy though. Is there any test I can conduct at home to give more clarity
 
  • #4
this is an passage from a research paper
"This mineral occurs as homogeneous, subrounded grains, with chemical compositions close to pure FeTi03• Concentrates contain between 48 and 52 per cent Ti02, with minor impurities of MnO, MgO, and Cr20 3"•
 
  • #5
Phot said:
this is an passage from a research paper
"This mineral occurs as homogeneous, subrounded grains, with chemical compositions close to pure FeTi03• Concentrates contain between 48 and 52 per cent Ti02, with minor impurities of MnO, MgO, and Cr20 3"•
So, it is Ilmenite.
It's mostly used for Titanium Dioxide vs. metallic Titanium.
Titanium Dioxide is very common. As I said, it's even in M&Ms.
 
  • #6
which means?? ((-: what can I do with it? I did not dispute its "commonness", as there is a hole coastline full of it. How can I get a metal from it?
 
  • #7
If you want metallic titanium, I would recommend this: Amazon - Titanium for Sale
There's likely a way to extract Titanium Dioxide suitable for home experimentation, but certainly the easier method would be: Food Grade TiO2, $11
 
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  • #8
Phot said:
which means?? ((-: what can I do with it? I did not dispute its "commonness", as there is a hole coastline full of it. How can I get a metal from it?
The main production process for titanium metal is known as the Kroll Process (chloride reduction). In this process, the main ore, known as rutile, is treated with chlorine gas to produce titanium tetrachloride. This is then purified and reduced to a metallic titanium sponge by reaction with magnesium or sodium. The titanium sponge then undergoes an alloying and melting process (usually under a vacuum, as in vacuum arc melting). This is an industrial process, not to be performed at home, but rather in a well controlled industrial environment due to very high temperatures and hazardous chemicals, namely chlorine gas.

If one is looking for commercial grade, then some Fe, Mn, Mg, Al would be fine, otherwise, impurities have to be removed.

The Kroll process is used in producing Zr and Hf.
 
  • #9
Phot said:
I am very sure it is Titanium, as this stretch of coastline is known for historic Titanium mining and every few years big mining conglomerates try to get a license again.
Is it legal for you to do it on a small scale?
Would the chemicals, fuel, reaction vessel and legal disposal of wastes cost more than the value of the titanium?
 
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  • #10
Keith_McClary said:
... legal disposal of wastes ...
I'm not sure what country Phot hails from. In the US, small home experiments might result in "Household Hazardous Wastes" which are regulated differently than industrial hazardous wastes.

But this goes beyond that. The hazardous materials would present serious problems even before they were considered "waste".

You can buy small ampules of Chlorine gas as an element sample, but it cannot be safely handled at home. You could kill yourself and others trying. "Legal disposal" would not be an issue. You could end up calling the fire department and having them evacuate the area and wash it down.

Titanium Tetrachloride is a nasty liquid. Here is the MSDS sheet for it. Among the restrictions are that you are not allowed to dump it into a sewer or public waters. It reacts with water to release dangerous gases. If your home is not equiped with a ventilation hood, you cannot safely open a container of it.
 
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  • #11
.Scott said:
"Legal disposal" would not be an issue.
Of the body?

Chlorine is nasty, nasty, stuff.

Refining raw ore into metal is not something one does in one's kitchen.
 
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  • #12
Thread closed for Moderation...
 
  • #13
Upon further review, thread will stay closed. It doesn't look like there is a way (let alone a safe way) for the OP to do what he is asking about in this thread. Thanks for the useful replies folks.
 

What is titanium oxide?

Titanium oxide, also known as titanium dioxide, is a naturally occurring compound made up of the elements titanium and oxygen. It is commonly found in minerals such as rutile, anatase, and ilmenite.

What are the properties of titanium oxide?

Titanium oxide is a white, odorless powder with a high melting point of 1,843°C. It is insoluble in water, but can dissolve in acids and alkalis. It is also a semiconductor, meaning it can conduct electricity under certain conditions.

What are the common uses of titanium oxide?

Titanium oxide has many industrial uses, including as a pigment in paints, coatings, and plastics due to its bright white color and UV-resistant properties. It is also used in sunscreen, food coloring, and as a catalyst in chemical reactions.

How is titanium oxide melted in a laboratory setting?

In a laboratory, titanium oxide can be melted using a high-temperature furnace or by using a flame. It is important to use caution and proper protective equipment when melting titanium oxide, as it can release harmful fumes.

What are the safety precautions when melting titanium oxide?

When melting titanium oxide, it is important to wear protective gear such as a lab coat, gloves, and safety glasses. The process should also be done in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhaling any fumes. In case of skin or eye contact, immediately rinse with water and seek medical attention if necessary.

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